Definition of mean well in US English:

mean well

phrase

  • Have good intentions, but not always the ability to carry them out.

    • ‘I suppose he may have meant well, but he isn't exactly blessed with an abundance of tact.’
    • ‘Devon always means well, he doesn't like to hurt people.’
    • ‘The woman meant well, but always ended up criticising every little thing I did.’
    • ‘These editors mean well, they just don't know what they're doing.’
    • ‘I'm sure she meant well, but that made me feel angrier than ever, made me feel that she didn't understand at all.’
    • ‘‘She always means well,’ Harry muttered in reply.’
    • ‘He knew she meant well, but he couldn't face her.’
    • ‘He grinned, letting both females know he meant well.’
    • ‘She was still pretty uptight, but she meant well.’
    • ‘I know you meant well, but why sacrifice yourself for me?’